“Israel in 3D” aims to expand public understanding of Israel’s society, history, culture, politics
One-day university encourages the public to learn about the multi-faceted environment of Israel
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Acclaimed Hollywood writer and producer Howard Gordon, co-creator and executive producer of the Golden Globe Award-winning television series Homeland, will be just one of the speakers featured in a daylong event exploring the multifaceted nature of Israel. Organized by the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, “Israel in 3D” will be held Jan. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center.
“This is an excellent opportunity to share the knowledge, innovative research and overall expertise of our UCLA Israel Studies faculty, plus a few guest speakers, on critical topics relating to Israel,” says Professor Arieh Saposnik, director of the Nazarian Center, one of America’s premier sources of scholarship and education about Israel. The goal is to bring the off-campus community into the UCLA environment to learn about Israel in a way that goes well past the headlines they may be used to seeing, he says.
The morning begins with a discussion about Israel’s current position in the Middle East, led by Professor Leonard Binder, Department of Political Science, and Professor Steven Spiegel, a political scientist and director of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.
This will be followed by a discussion about minority-majority relations in Israel among a trio of young scholars that includes Kassem Nabulsi, an Arab-Israeli professor of political science at California State University, and Ayelet Harel-Shalev and Orit Gazit, both visiting scholars from Israel who are currently working at the Nazarian Center.
Additional panelists include UCLA Professors Neil Netanel, Yoram Cohen and Stuart Gabriel, who will discuss legal, economic and infrastructure challenges faced by those living in Israel; and UCLA Professors David Myers and Judea Pearl, Rabbi David Wolpe from Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, executive director of Hillel at UCLA, who will talk about the relationship between Israel and the American Jewish community.
“We hope to inspire real conversation between the research and teaching taking place on our campus and the interests and concerns of people beyond campus,” says Saposnik, who will be on a panel discussing Israeli and Jewish culture with Arnold Band, UCLA professor emeritus of Hebrew and Comparative Literatures, and Jody Myers, professor of Jewish studies at California State University Northridge. “We believe this will result in a greatly enriched understanding of the multiple dimensions of Israel: its fascinating and diverse society, its strengths and challenges, and its complex history.”
The day also features a special guest talk by Howard Gordon, co-creator and co-producer of the 2012 Golden Globe Award-winning television series Homeland. The show, now in its second season on Showtime, is based on the popular Israeli television drama Hatufim (Prisoners of War), one of the most controversial shows to ever air on Israeli television. Gordon will speak about the making of Homeland, his personal experiences working with the Israeli creators, and the growing phenomenon of Israeli shows being translated into highly successful American shows, says Saposnik.
The panel discussion portion of the program is free and open to the public. The lunchtime program, which includes a meal and Gordon’s talk, is $25 per person or $15 for UCLA students.